Food for Friday

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15

A couple of times a week, I receive an email notification of a problem with my bank account, telling me I should log in and correct the problem. None of these emails are for banks that I use. In fact, no bank ever sends out such emails; these are scammers attempting to obtain confidential information so they can steal from others’ bank accounts. These scammers must deceive some people, otherwise they would not keep doing it. Who are these crooks? They are actually a type of the ravening wolves referred to in our text.

The word ravening in our text is usually translated extortioner elsewhere in our Bible. An extortioner is somebody who uses a position of power or trust to embezzle or defraud people. That certainly describes the scammers who use the telephone and the Internet to trick people into giving them money or access to money. But it also includes those who use deceit to gain the trust of the Lord’s people so they can take advantage of them. These false prophets are cruel and dangerous, and they can cause great damage to lives and testimonies. We need to be on our guard, to beware, because, as our text reminds us, they will come among us.

It is hard for us to understand why ravening wolves would want to come in among the Christians. We don’t think they way they do. But the reality is that some people see Christians as gullible and willing to trust other Christians, so they use this environment of trust to prey on easy victims. In some cases, they simply impose to obtain a quick handout, or other possessions. In other cases, they attempt to gain enough trust to steal large amounts of money or valuable pieces of property. These people remind us that we need to be careful about who we trust, and to watch out for these thieves. But there are other types of ravening wolves who are after that which is more valuable.

We have precious truths from the Word of God, those things most surely believed among us, and we hold them closely. We rehearse them and we teach them to our young people, that these precious truths will be maintained and passed on from our generation to the next. But the devil hates these truths, and has his ravening wolves engaged in attacking them, because he wishes to deprive God of the glory that these truths produce. Some men and women, in the guise of godly teachers, will sow seeds of doubt, raise questions, and otherwise seek to undermine the truths we hold. Our Assembly principles and practices are always under their attack.

If we beware, we can prevent the wolves from robbing us of God’s truth. -Jim MacIntosh

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